"You want some advice?" came the friendly voice of the waitress.
I stopped, turning around. "I guess," I answered half-heartedly, not sure where this was leading.
I frowned and gave her an indignant scowl. "What do you mean?"
"You know very well what I mean, young man," she said. "Your mother is probably worrying herself sick over you."
I looked down at the floor. The game was up; she knew. But how? What had given me away? I finally looked up. "How'd you know?"
"I'm a mother, we just know," she said. "If you don't take my advice, the least you could do is write and let her know you're okay."
"I already thought about that," I said seriously.
"But you haven't done it."
"Not yet," I admitted. "But I will."
"Promise," I said. Geez, it was like I'd never left home, the way she was nagging me. "You're not going to turn me in are you?" I asked worriedly.
"No," she said. "I don't know why you ran away. Maybe you had a good reason. I do know it's usually not half as bad as it seems."
A lot she knew, I thought.
"When you do decide to go back, just be a man, swallow your pride and go," she added.
"Thanks," I said. She thought I meant for her advice, but I was more thankful she wasn't planning to report me.
I left the restaurant a little wiser. If I were going to pull this off, I needed to work on my act. Polish it up. Iron out the wrinkles. A guy simply couldn't go through life with every female who is a mother being able to read him like a book.
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